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Children score poorly on health behaviours measurement

A recent study, led by a team from the University of Minnesota, has found that a vast majority of children in the USA are not meeting the American Heart Association’s definition of ‘ideal cardiovascular health’. Julia Steinburger, lead author of the study, explained that the primary reason for so few children actually scoring highly on the measurement was: poor nutrition, high-calorie and low-nutrition foods. She went on to say that engaging in ideal health behaviours early on in life can have a tremendous benefit on the maintenance of health throughout life.

Overall, 91% of children scored poorly on diet measurements, with most children getting the majority of their daily calories from simple carbohydrates like sweet desserts and drinks. This, compounded with the fact that many did not partake in an adequate amount of exercise, meant that body weight was affected. For some ages between 12 and 19 the obesity rate was as high as 27%. These outcomes have highlighted the importance of instilling healthy behaviours from a young age, in order to protect our bodies as we age from the effects of diseases such as obesity, however they have also shown that this is not happening at the moment, and should be a priority in the future.

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